Theoretical Explanation and Unification

  • Anne L. Hiskes
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 236)


The explanatory value of a theory and the degree to which it unifies a body of scientific knowledge are two widely recognized and intimately related theoretical virtues. These two virtues seem so closely related, in fact, that it is tempting to reduce the explanatory character of theories to their unifying power.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cartwright, Nancy. How the laws of Physics Lie. ( Oxford: Oxford UP, 1983 ).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Friedman, Michael, “Explanation and Scientific Understanding”, J. of Phil., Vol. 71, (1974), pp. 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Herrmann, H. and A. Hiskes, “Lipmann’s Squiggle and the Unification of Cellular Structure and Function”. In Kleinkauf, von Doheren, and Jaenicke, eds., The Roots of Modem Biochemistry, pp. 261–284. ( Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988 ).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hooker, C.A. “Between Formalism and Anarchism: A Reasonable Middle Way”. In Munevar, G., ed., Beyond Reason: Essays on the Philosophy of Paul K. Feyerabend, pp. 41–107. ( Boston: Kluwer, 1991 ).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kitcher, Philip. “Explanatory Unification and Causal Structure”. In W. Salmon, W. and P. Kitcher, eds., Scientific Explanation, pp. 410–505. ( Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Salmon, Wesley. “Four Decades of Scientific Explanation”. In Salmon, W. and P. Kitcher, eds. op. cit., pp. 3–219.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne L. Hiskes
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutUSA

Personalised recommendations